This Halloween was unlike any other and quite harrowing for me. Since the only trick or treaters I get are three of my grandchildren from daughter number two, I purchased a small amount of candy geared for them and a little bit more just in case someone else found their way to my door.

And we would make popcorn balls (for family members only) after eating a quick, early dinner. Surprise! The hubby started making a stew and it wouldn’t be ready until 5:15. I did a little stewing of my own because I prefer to stick to my plans. To appease me he started popping the corn ahead of time.

I ate my dinner very fast as I mentally tallied the ingredients I would need for the “goop” that holds the popcorn into balls and just as I was chewing the last of my food it happened. The doorbell rang.

 “Oh my gosh, they’re early” I said as I hopped up and headed for the door. “Trick or treat” they were yelling but it wasn’t my grandkids. It was … my very fun daughter number one and her husband. She was holding out a bag of candy expectantly. This was quite the surprise because her kids had outgrown Halloween a few years ago so I was not expecting this. She must have come for the popcorn balls.

 “I haven’t even made them yet,” I said as I ushered the two of them into the house. “In fact we are still eating.” Actually only the hubby was still eating because the stew was really very good and he was savoring every bite — despite my furrowed brow. To my “Are you hungry?” came “We just had dinner.”

Now I was flustered because my carefully laid out plan was falling apart and I was feeling like a failure. My daughter wasn’t in any hurry though. She wanted to see her sister’s kids all dressed up in their costumes and the candy in her bag was really for them. 

I quickly started the goop, and if you’ve ever made it you know that you have to stand there and stir it constantly, making you a prisoner to the stove. Halfway through this process I heard someone coming in the back door. Huh?

Ack! I watched in disbelief as my costumed grandchildren filed past me with bags of food from McDonalds. What was happening?? Was the moon out of alignment with Aquarious?

Still stirring, I said “Hey, why aren’t you ringing the front door bell like you always do?” They shrugged their shoulders, as clueless as I was and set about eating as I remained stuck to the stove — and left out of the fun. I called the hubby over to relieve me and noticed that only the children were eating.

“Are you two hungry?” I asked their parents. “We have a pot of stew on the stove.” Much to my joy they helped themselves to dinner while the hubby and I got our hands goopy. Then a second batch was needed. Even though my kitchen was a complete mess that beckoned me to clean it, I held off. I spent my time passing out candy, taking pictures, and just plain enjoying my company — for as long as I could. That voice in my head, however, would not stop harassing me about the state of my kitchen.

To shut it up I started small and slow by nonchalantly moving things closer to the sink, putting ingredients away and refrigerating the stew while still joking with the kids.

It was loud and it was fun, and it was over within the hour. The hubby and I just looked at each other. “Did that just happen?”

 “Oh it happened,” he said as he went in and put his feet up  — with a popcorn ball in each hand. I rolled up my sleeves and made my kitchen presentable for — well — nobody except that annoying voice in my head.

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